Forest Resilience Lab

Cutting-edge science to guide forest-based natural climate solutions

Forests have enormous potential to provide natural climate solutions with manifold ecological, economic, and societal co-benefits. Yet the risks of forest carbon loss, including due to climate-induced disturbances such as drought, fire, and biotic agents, are not often considered.

A rigorous, mechanistic, and probabilistic assessment of both the potential for and the risks facing forests as natural climate solutions is urgently needed. This scientific information is crucial to inform forest carbon sequestration efforts and policies, bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration, and forest, timber, and conservation investment efforts. Integrating cutting-edge vegetation models, extensive field observational datasets, and satellite datasets will enable estimates of forest carbon sequestration potential and risk assessment. Furthermore, these estimates and tools must also be freely available for a wide range of stakeholders.

Our aims:

We are developing:

  • A probabilistic assessment of forest carbon stock potential to guide natural climate solutions efforts in the United States and globally through a fusion of large-scale datasets and vegetation model ensembles.
  • Rigorous estimates of the climate risks facing various forest biomes to inform the risk metrics currently used in carbon finance and/or offset markets.
  • Publicly available maps, datasets, tools, and platforms that synthesize current scientific understanding to support a wide array of forest carbon stakeholders.
Where we work
Where we work
Where we work
Where we work
Where we work
Where we work
Where we work
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Forests have significant potential to help mitigate human-caused climate change and provide society with a broad range of co-benefits. Local, national, and international efforts have developed policies and incentives to protect and enhance forest carbon sinks. But climate-driven risks may fundamentally compromise forest carbon stocks and sinks in the 21st century.

Understanding and quantifying climate-driven risks to forest stability can help illuminate how forests might help contribute towards the Paris Agreement climate goals. Thus, rigorous scientific assessment of the risks and limitations to widespread deployment of forests as natural climate solutions is urgent. In this paper, we synthesize current scientific understanding of the climate-driven risks to forests and lay out a roadmap for quantifying current and forecasting future risks to forest stability.

Check out our recent work on the climate risks facing forests:
Anderegg Lab Publications

We bring rigorous scientific approaches to tackle five central, interrelated questions:

  • How well can we model forest carbon stocks and drivers of stock changes?
  • What would a probabilistic assessment of forest carbon stocks and risks to stocks through a fusion of large-scale datasets and vegetation model ensembles entail and require?
  • How can we better constrain and validate vegetation model estimates of forest carbon stocks and their drivers with current or forthcoming remote-sensing products?
  • What is the combined climate risk facing various forest biomes and how does this compare to the risk metrics currently used in carbon finance and/or offset markets?
  • What information and platforms are most needed for synthesizing current scientific understanding for forest carbon stakeholders?
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